Mid to late winter foraging for wild edibles can be a hit or miss endeavor, depending on your location and weather. Luckily on a recent 50 degree day trail walk I found a patch of Garlic Mustard Greens that were able to overwinter. Some wild greens have the ability to produce sugar and alcohol in their leaves and stems during the winter which acts kind of like an antifreeze which allows them to survive through winter. Some years they make it some years they don’t depending on the harshness of the weather.
During the overwinter process the plants really don’t grow , they kind of just hang on until spring rolls around. But one of the positive side effects of wintering bitter greens is that they become a little more mild .
Anyway back to my walk , about 150 yards into my walk I found a decent patch of Garlic Mustard Greens mixed in with some Queen Anne’s Lace but decided to venture on down the trail to see what I could find. About ½ mile in I found another patch on the south facing side of an old set of railroad tracks. I imagine the built up bed for the tracks helped this patch survive, protecting it from those cold northern winds. So anyway I went about my business and harvested about a half a grocery bag worth.
Now what to do with it? Since it is still winter I decided I was going to cook it rather than use it for a salad so after a little thought I decided that an omelet was what these winter greens deserved.
Recipe for Garlic Mustard Green Omelet
½ cup chopped Garlic Mustard Greens
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
½ cup of chopped mushrooms
Salt and Pepper to taste
On a side note you should never put any wild edible in your mouth unless you can positively identify it. Find a local expert to help you identify wild edibles. Moral of the story is get out get some exercise this winter and maybe find a free meal .